Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, is notably one of the most mysterious characters in the cryptocurrency space, and possibly in human history. After creating Bitcoin, a software with the goal of redefining what money is and eliminating global fiat currencies, Satoshi Nakamoto completely disappeared in early 2011 without leaving a trace.
In order to better understand the mentality of this anonymous genius, we first wrote an article with some of the best quotes of Satoshi Nakamoto. After getting a good response on that, the next logical step was for us to research theories of why Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared, which is what we cover in this article.
It’s important to note that none of the following theories is “truer” than the other one. After researching the topic extensively, this article is simply a compilation of what we believe to be the 6 most likely reasons why Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared.
One of the reasons why Satoshi Nakamoto could have disappeared is because he died due to natural causes, like illness. This theory fits in a framework that could indicate that Hal Finney, a brilliant computer scientist, and receiver of the first Bitcoin transaction, could indeed have been Satoshi Nakamoto.
Hal Finney was diagnosed with “Damyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis” in late 2009, a rare neurological disease that affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling muscle movement. The illness leads to whole-body paralysis and death.
At first, when the symptoms started manifesting themselves, Hal Finney figured out a way to control a computer with his eyes. In his own words, this radically reduced his typing speed, but he could still do what he enjoyed the most. Unfortunately, that was not a viable solution for long. Around mid-2011, he fully lost control of his locomotive functions, which coincides with the disappearance date of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Hal Finney passed away on August 28, 2014. He was cryopreserved by the Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Another theory why Satoshi Nakamoto is that he simply lost interest in Bitcoin. This does not necessarily have to be a bad thing, he may have been aware that at this point Bitcoin is an ecosystem that is stable enough to thrive without him.
One of the last times someone ever heard about Satoshi was on April 23rd, 2011 in an email that he sent to Gavin. This email is a strong argument for this theory.
It said the following:
I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.
– Satoshi Nakamoto
There are a lot of powerful people that are incentivized to make sure at all costs that they keep the power they have over the current financial system, and they may have noticed early on that Bitcoin could indeed pose a big risk to that control.
Satoshi Nakamoto may have disappeared to hide from his enemies and government agencies. One of his last posts on the cryptocurrency forum Bitcointalk suggest that this may have been the case:
It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.
– Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto could have been assassinated or captured. There is nothing that hints at this scenario, other than a track record of certain governments kidnapping individuals that may pose a risk to the current power structure.
Ross Ulbricht was sentenced with a double life sentence in prison for operating the Silk Road, a dark web marketplace that was mostly used for selling drugs. However, all of his charges were non-violent and related to operating a platform were other merchants were mostly selling small amounts of Cannabis. This is a significantly harsher sentence than what highly violent several murderers, pedophiles, and rapists are charged with. If you want to learn more about the story of Ross Ulbricht then you can check out FreeRoss.org.
The threat of Satoshi’s creation to the current power structure is far greater than Ross Ulbricht’s Silk Road. This could justify that there is a non-zero chance of Bitcoin’s maker having been assassinated.
Throughout 2011 the Bitcoin price experienced its first major bubble, skyrocketing from $0.10 to $10 in just one year. Interestingly, that’s also the time that Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared. This first major price rally brought massive attention to Bitcoin from mainstream media and may have been something that Satoshi was simply not prepared for. Satoshi Nakamoto was a computer scientist and economist at heart, he may have disappeared because being in the spotlight was putting too much pressure on him.
On his Bitcointalk forum posts, Satoshi was very vocal about the risk that major banks and politicians pose to our financial system. One of his main arguments is that if this immense power is exclusively in the hands of a privileged few, these people will adapt in a way that benefits them the most, and not the rest of humanity.
Satoshi Nakamoto was convinced that money should not have a leader or a major point of failure, and he may have disappeared because he did not want to be that point of failure for Bitcoin.
Maybe somewhere, Satoshi is living a normal life and smiling while watching is creation capture the hearts of millions of people.
Satoshi is definitely one of the most fascinating characters in history, and it will be interesting how our knowledge about this pseudonymous genius will evolve as Bitcoin evolves.
Why do you think that Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared? Let us know in the comment section below.
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